Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marzi - A Memoir

I am Marzi, born in 1979, ten years before the end of communism in Poland.
[img source:]
Marzi is a graphical depiction of Marzena Sowa's life as a child growing up in Communist Poland. Most of Marzi's young life revolves around how much she loves her idealistic father and her overbearing mother whom she could not please. As an only child, Marzi made much of running wild with the neighboring children and eventually growing older with her new best friend, Gosia, the girl living upstairs, after her original best friend moved away. 

The harsh reality of life behind the Iron Curtain featured a lot in the novel from the child's perspective; queuing long hours and not getting any fruit, fallout from Chernobyl, having to grow and sell stuff from their own country garden and operate a "black market" out of their apartment, and her father disappearing to strike at the factory. Being poor and having to chew window putty in lieu of actual chewing gum is really sad, though Marzi's adding of color pencils to enliven the color of the putty is yewwww.

As someone who has not experienced Communist rule, I can only appreciate and vaguely grasp how terrible it must have been.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Books Cellar - Tea at a idyllic book cafe

We were supposed to be having tea at Grin Affair, but the place, oh so typical of a sole proprietor, was closed for a few days without warning. After all the effort to find it, we were very pissed off to discover it closed. So we wandered down Neil Road hoping to find the Austrian cafe that B1 and I had dinner so long ago. Damn thing really closed down too.
So we just kept walking, thirsty and trying to find a place where we could chill out and discuss our upcoming milestones and tasks. And we stumbled upon Books Cellar which by some miracle was open on the lazy Friday evening. 
Flip to the last page and you can see book prices =D
We were very grateful to at least have a place to sit down at, and being book lovers, we were excited to see books galore with food and drinks available. I was flabbergasted to open one of my childhood books to see a menu inside. 
Having ordered apple crumble, brownie and drinks, we happily wandered around looking at the books, admiring the displays and the pool table. Books were a bit old and dusty to the touch, and I was conscious that I was wearing a short skirt so I didn't dare to reach up for the books I wanted hehe.
The food came so we returned to enjoy them. The place is really lovely to chill out. It was hushed with just the piped music and the decorations were really homey. One could stretch out and relax. Unfortunately the food and drinks do not match up. The apple crumble was not warm (more like really cold) and the brownie was dry (thankfully it had the chocolate sauce).
And my drink was disgusting. Seriously. Books Cellar, if you want to improve your business, please offer more than "3 sad sandwiches" as Bär said. The food and drinks have to be at least edible to attract return customers, especially at the prices they are being offered at.

Books Cellar
19 Bukit Pasoh Road

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deutschland 2012: Planning the trip

Frankfurt Card

Traveling in Frankfurt


Locker service in Austria train stations: (24h!)
Costs 3,50 euros for a big one. Dump things in, close the lid, and put in the money at the central slot. Ticket comes out. Put in ticket again to open the door.

Visiting Salzburg Guide (written by locals) (pee and see map, very impt)

Salzburg cards

Inner City train Route in München (Munich)

Train/ Subway Fares within München (Munich) (fucking complicated!)
As much as possible, always get the partners' day ticket (if traveling with another person or more). Strip tickets are not worth the trouble and only last one day anyway. Watch out for the zones, though, since we went to Geltendorf (for the Ritterturnier) we ended up buying the entire zone, which was 20 euros. Which is ok, considering one direction direct ticket was 7,50 euros for one person in itself.

Checking bus routes within Munich (German only)
If you can't understand German, dun worry, you are not totally fucked, just use the two drop down menus on the side of these two words.

(obviously the region you are travelling in, e.g. Füssen, Berchtesgaden)
(Bus number) <-optional. Using Region, you can get all the bus routes available in that region. Click on the route and you see this option "PDF herunterladen"? That is the timing for the bus. Click and print.

Checking bus routes within Salzburg (German only) (Just click on the number you want, and print the pdf)

The jaw-dropping rules when taking the train in Germany

Sharing fuel costs with others going the same way

Finally always book your ICE tickets like months ahead. I eyeballed the tickets back in June, where they were a blissful 59 euros (for 2 adults) against the usual 190 euros. Now i book them bloody tickets, they cost me 109 euros. FML.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Alligators Old Mink and New Money

[image source:]
Alligators, Old Mink & New Money is an interesting look into Alison Houtte's foray into vintage clothing. It starts with how a love of vintage clothing has been instilled in her and her sisters by the older women in her family, her being talent-spotted to be a model in the 1980s, and how she eventually went into vintage clothing as a result. The later half of the book was all her misadventures and adventures as an entrepreneur, like setting up the new shop after the previous landlord kicked her to the curb, selling Bonnie Cashin at a very cheap US$150 instead of its true value US$600 because she was still evolving her knowledge. This book is like an literal advertisement for her business Hooti Couture. The back of the book even teaches how to identify and restore old pieces when doing hunts at auctions and garage sales yourself.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today is my birthday

I worked until 11pm last night. I commented dourly to my boss that in one more hour's time, she could be celebrating my birthday. She didn't really believe me. Ah well.


I am heading back to work today. This year could be the worst birthday of my life...

Monday, July 2, 2012

While you were celebrating...

I was doing this...
Trying to prise my bleary eyes apart and go over a stack of questions with a bunch of *censored* is no joke when you only had 1.5-2hrs of zzz. The meeting started at 10am and ended at 3pm. By then, I thought my brains were going to BOOMZ.

Apparently I was the only person at the table who watched the match...the rest of them looked certainly genki enough, which makes me even more tres bitchy.

To top it off, I had the lovely opportunity of meeting with more *censored* for another *censored*, which meant that I was sitting doing this again for another hour.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

3 women watch Euro Cup Final

Like I said, my cousin (Y) and I have been chasing the Euro Champ 2012. She has been more successful in staying awake, but thanks to N making me play with him CoH until 5am last night (I slept only 5 hours, waking up to play again w the Amerikaners), I now can't sleep...

Over the weekend, Y has been smsing me asking me who I think will win. I hoped Spain will, since I am still extremely sour that Italy beat Germany. I told her it's the bookies' year, that's why italy won to save their national debt (yes, still mad). I did not bet myself, as it goes against my principles as a German fan to bet Italy to win.

So I gathered some of the toys in the living room to watch the match with me and G.
Watching the match. May our powers combine to curse Italy!
Me (on Skype) - Fickt euch Meatballs. I hope Spain murder you on the field and I can stay awake to watch.
Y smses me to tell me that her sis is up too. So I sms them both my sincere wishes that Italy will die horrible death on the field.
Dun look worried, your boys will murder the oily italians!!
Turns out all three of us support Germany. 

Silva gets a ball in. Italians miss... by a long way (Pirlo needs glasses)
Y (3.15) - Whats up with the Italians!?
Me (3.15) - Suddenly casillas is looking very sexy to me.
Y - Lol he's balding in the middle. I like my Gigi
Me - I can't stand Balotelli!
My fav Balotelli meme
 Y - He will find a way... I wanna bitch slap Silva everytime they focus on him

Casillas blocks another ball.
Me - he is extremely sexy. The whole group looks sexy. Pirlo's engine looks like it is kaputt
C (my older cousin) - The way the Italians are playing now reminds me of monkeys running around. 
C - It looks like Spain is controlling the game.
Schnappi - tapas > meatballs
T (upon me telling him my cousins and I were watching the match) - Lol! Its a girls game :)) (so says the man who was watching it and playing CoH).

Me - Fuck the time difference. Arghz.

2nd Half
C -I guess the coach would be a bit dejected...what with 2 spanish goals and your players dropping like flies.
Y - I go zzz.
Me - (knocked out somewhere in the 70th min mark) - zzzz
C- It was very nice of Torres to do that... I would think most people would think of personal glory vs team glory.
Me - (caught no ball) Huh?


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